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Coronavirus Food Assistance Program offers aid to farmers

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program offers aid to farmers Coronavirus Food Assistance Program offers aid to farmers

Agricultural producers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The application and a payment calculator are available online, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency staff members are available via phone, fax and online tools to help producers complete applications.

“We know Indiana producers are facing a tough time now, and we are making every effort to provide much needed support as quickly as possible,” said Steven Brown, state executive director for FSA. “FSA is available over the phone and virtually to walk you through the application process, whether it’s the first time you’ve worked with FSA or if you know us quite well.”

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28.

Through CFAP, the USDA is making available $16 billion for vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a 5% or greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

“We also want to remind producers that the program is structured to ensure the availability of funding for all eligible producers who apply,” Brown said.

In order to do this, producers will receive 80% of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain available.

Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. Also on that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments.

Producers in search of one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 1-877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee.

Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office. Those who use the online calculator tool will be able to print off a pre-filled CFAP application, sign and submit to their local FSA office either electronically or via hand delivery.

Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested after the application is filed.

The USDA is also establishing a process for the public to identify additional commodities for potential inclusion in CFAP. Specifically, the USDA is looking for data on agricultural commodities, that are not currently eligible for CFAP, that the public believes to have either suffered a 5% or greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, shipped but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channel or not left the farm or remained unharvested as mature crops.

More information about this process is available on farmers.gov/cfap.

To find the latest information about CFAP, visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 1-877-508-8364.

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